ABB suggestions include leveraging the ‘Internet of Things, Services and People’, approach to enhance sustainable development of manufacturing industry with focus on energy efficiency and people
Guangzhou, Nov. 19, 2015— At the opening of the 2015 International Consultative Conference on the Future Economic Development of Guangdong (ICCFED) in Guangzhou today, Claudio Facchin, President of ABB’s Power Systems division, presented his insights on how Guangdong can enhance its industrial competitiveness. He shared ABB’s Internet of Things, Services and People (IoTSP) approach and highlighted the importance of sustainable development, energy efficiency and the role of people in shaping its manufacturing industry.
As a leading example of China’s reforms, Guangdong province has played a significant role as a growth engine with its GDP topping the country for 26 consecutive years since 1988. However, Guangdong’s manufacturing sector faces growing challenges to its competitiveness as a result of rising labour costs, skill availability, energy shortage, structural issues in traditional economic development model, and a changing pattern of global industrial cooperation.
President of ABB’s Power Systems division
In his speech titled Interconnectivity for Increased Productivity and Sustainability, Facchin pointed out that, “accelerating the development of high-end manufacturing and the integration of the Internet into industries can significantly help to enhance the competitiveness of Guangdong. The integration of ICT (information and communications technologies) into manufacturing processes, real time monitoring and control and talent development are essential elements to developing smart manufacturing.”
According to ABB, the future of industry is about the integration of smart devices with software and services, which lies at the heart of IoTSP. By building up IoTSP capabilities through control and communication systems, analyzing data to assist planning and decision making, manufacturers can substantially improve productivity and reduce costs. ABB’s Breakers and Switches plant in Vaasa Finland was cited as an example, where smart technologies run through the entire order-delivery process chain. Material procurement, order placement, product assembly and logistics, storage control, as well as remote services, are all highly automated in real time. Even at night, an automatic production line is able to handle the manufacturing process. As a result, flexibility, quality, reliability and profitability have been increased and competitiveness enhanced significantly.
As Guangdong approaches a more advanced and sophisticated stage of development, the dual pressure of energy and environmental issues needs to be addressed. Since the traditional growth model of manufacturing industry features intensive investment and high energy consumption and emission, it considerably impacts resources and the environment. ABB believes that Guangdong must shift to a more sustainable manufacturing model, minimizing environmental impact while conserving energy and natural resources. Sustainable manufacturing also enhances employee, community, and product safety. Facchin said, “Nowadays, a growing number of international manufacturers are realizing the financial and environmental benefits of sustainable business.”
He also highlighted that people play an important role in smart manufacturing, since they will at the heart of decision making as programmers, controllers and to monitor production processes and therefore, talent management will play a key role. For example, the rapid deployment of industrial robots, requires engineers to have in-depth knowledge and skills in specific application areas. The whole value chain, including technology suppliers, integrators and end users, are all in need of more skilled workers and experts. In addition to attracting, training and retaining talent, he encouraged collaboration between businesses and universities or technical schools.
Since the first International Consultative Conference on the Future Economic Development of Guangdong in 1999, ABB has been contributing ideas for the long-term development of Guangdong. ABB signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Guangdong in 2013, further enhancing its research and development presence in the province. After establishing ABB R&D Center for Railway Transportation System in Guangzhou, ABB set up a new operation in Zhuhai in 2015 to focus on robotics application development and system integration, actively supporting the industrial upgrade in Guangdong.
At present, ABB in Guangdong has 2,000 employees and local companies including ABB Microunion Traction Equipment Co., Ltd, ABB Zhongshan Transformer Co., Ltd, ABB Xinhui Low Voltage Switchgear Co., Ltd, ABB Guangdong Sihui Instrument Transformer Works Co., Ltd, ABB Silver Star Shenzhen Surge Arrester Co., Ltd., Power-One Renewable Energy (China) Co., Ltd., ABB Robotics (Zhuhai) Ltd. Over the past 10 years, ABB has been a part of many key projects in Guangdong, including Xiluodu-Guangdong and Nuozhadu-Guangdong hydropower DC transmission lines among China’s West-to-East power transmission projects, and several railway lines in Shenzhen and Guangzhou. ABB also helped Gree Electric Appliances, GAC Group and other local customers build automated production lines to achieve “smart manufacturing”.
ABB is a Global 500 company and a leader in power and automation technologies. They enable utility, industry, and transport and infrastructure customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in 100 countries and employs about 140,000 people. ABB has a full range of business activities in China, including R&D, manufacturing, sales and services, with 19,000 employees, 39 local companies, and an extensive sales and service network across 126 cities.
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